Saturday, November 19, 2016

The confrontation between journalists syndicate and the regime is back as it seems

For the past 5 years , the 19th of November is marked by political tensions,mostly clashes and protests.
This year , it is not an exceptional. Aswan and Red Sea governorates saw protests for different reasons and in Cairo, the confrontation between journalist unionists and state is back.

Earlier Saturday ,a Cairo Misdemeanor Court sentenced the head of Egypt's Journalists syndicate Yahia Qallash and board members Khaled El-Balshy and Gamal Abdel Rahim to two years in jail for "harboring fugitives inside the syndicate's headquarter" from seven months ago.

Issued in absentia as the trio did not show up, the verdict is a first-degree one and can be appealed. The Misdemeanor court set bail at LE 10,000 for each defendant.
Egypt's Journalists syndicate after court rule to prison its head
Yahia Qallash at the journalists syndicate earlier Today 

This is unprecedented by all measures.

For the first time in the history of Egypt's journalists syndicate, something like that happens.
Actually, it is the first time in the history of unions in general if I am not mistaken.

If you have forgotten the case , it all started when the security forces stormed the Journalists syndicate headquarter arresting journalists Amr Badr and Mahmoud El-Sakka who were having a sit-in there from seven months ago.
Both were accused of spreading false news , inciting the public and plotting to overthrow the regime during the Tiran and Sanafir protests crackdown.
Following the illegal storming of the syndicate, the majority of members of the journalists syndicate stood with Yahia Qallash , Khaled El-Balshy and Gamal Abdel Rahim for their stance against the storming of the syndicate as an escalation in May.
In June , the three men were referred to misdemeanor court.

Then people forgot about what happened and today we remember all this with this shameful verdict.
"It is expected verdict as we have been found guilty and sentenced already by the Prosecutor general's statement from seven months ago," said Qallash in his short word at the journalists syndicate after the verdict.
"If this is the price we will pay to defend the journalists syndicate, then we are going to pay it willingly" He added stressing that they would take all legal actions against this court ruling
Egypt's Journalists syndicate after court rule to prison its head
Yahia Qallash and board member as well head of freedoms committee Khaled El-Balshy

They won't go without a fight, this is for sure.
In evening , journalists organized a protest on the iconic staircases of the syndicate chanting anti-regime/anti-military/anti-police chants.
The protest by Mohamed El-Raay

An urgent board meeting held later and reached out that the three men are going to pay the bail and appeal the court ruling as far as I understood.
The journalists syndicate has been surrounded by Central security forces "CSF" and vehicles all day long.
According to Qallash , the syndicate's board is going to meet soon with the general assembly to see what is next.

Egypt's Journalists syndicate after court rule to prison its head
Part of the meeting held at the syndicate following the court's verdict

I think the confrontation between journalists syndicate and the state is back.
Egypt's Journalists syndicate after court rule to prison its head
Outside the Journalism is not a crime black banner was hanged

FYI , Journalist Amr Badr was released on bail pending investigations in the case in August and then Mahmoud El-Sakka was released on bail as well pending investigation in September.
The administrative court as well nullified the Tiran and Sanafir demarcation agreement between the current Egyptian government and Saudi Arabia. Yes , it is being appealed but this is happened.

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